Do you ever get to the point where there are so many thoughts running through your mind that you almost can't function?
You start a sentence and mid-sentence you have to stop... because your mind just darted off in a completely different direction.
Too many unresolved problems.
Too many open loops.
This happens to me every once in a while and I've reached the point where it's pretty easy to recognize.
Thankfully, I have a remedy that usually does the trick.
Whenever I get into this state, I know I need to stop and do a brain dump.
I have a notebook I keep just for this reason. The only thing I use it for is to capture all of the thoughts that are rattling around in my mind.
Here's what I do.
I sit down and write and I don't stop. I don't process. I don't fix anything. I just capture my non-linear, scattered stream of consciousness.
If an action I need to take comes to mind, I simply jot down a circled A and move on.
If I come up with a question I'm going to want to think more about, I tag it with a question mark.
And if I have a great idea I want to capture for later, I mark it with an exclamation point.
Later, once I'm done downloading my mind to paper, I can comb back through what I wrote and pull out any actionable bits, ideas, and questions.
It's important to allow the download to complete.
If I interrupt it and try to act on something or process it, I completely lose the value of the exercise.
These quick notations allow me the peace of mind to keep going, knowing that I will come back and process these things later.
I've been doing this for years and although it's super simple, it's powerfully effective.
Next time you feel like you can't get your mind to sit still and focus, give it a shot!
It just might give you back your placid mind.